Panthalassa cover
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Al Fraser, Sam Leamy, Neil Johnstone

[ Rattle Records / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 6 September 2019

Panthalassa was the super ocean that surrounded the super continent Pangaea during the Palaeozoic-Mesozoic era.

Panthalassa, the album, is an abstract and impressionist work in which conceptual ideas are explored through the luminous ngā taonga pūoro playing of Al Fraser, the evocative atmospheric soundscapes of Neil Johnstone, and the virtuosic drones and textures created by guitar player Sam Leamy.

The album explores a unique sound world through the use of hydro-phonic recordings of migrating marine animals from Cook Strait/Raukawa. These recordings, made and supplied by NIWA, present a very rich and diverse sonic environment, which may change in the future due to the diminishing of native marine species.

Throughout the album, notions relating to the nature and experience of time, communication, and nonlinear representations of time informs the atmosphere, character, and thematic intent of this work. We can't say whether marine creatures experience time as we do, but this project is an attempt to reflect the strangeness (to humans) of whale, dolphin and seal consciousness, as well as the singular nature and textural qualities of a unique sonic environment. Panthalassa is a response to the on-going erosion and potential loss of this environment.

Al Fraser (nga taonga puoro)
Sam Leamy (guitar, effects)
Neil Johnstone (soundscapes, synthesisers, sample manipulation, synthstrom deluge)

guest musicians
Phil Boniface (double bass)
Erika Grant (ocean harp)
Ariana Tikao (vocals)
Jake Church (guitar)
Pete Deane (guitar)


Paleozoic Dawn 05:34
Bone White Moon 07:48
Rorqual 06:06
Echolocation 03:54
Bathysphere 03:57
Glacial Imprints 06:20
Hinatore 04:16
Ghost Shark 04:49
Light Bearing (Shallowtails) 05:28
Spiracles 03:29
Whale Time 08:05
Mesozoic Extinction 06:49